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'Creating a New Museum' Previews American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Galleries and Film

Battle of the Saintes, 12th April 1782, William Elliott, 1784-87

“Lord Rodney’s flagship ‘Formidable’ breaking through the French line at the battle of the Saintes, 12th April 1782,” painted between 1784 and 1787 by Lieutenant William Elliott of the Royal Navy.

A new exhibit at the Yorktown Victory Center provides a multimedia, interactive encounter with the permanent exhibition galleries and introductory film that will premiere in conjunction with the museum’s transition to American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in late 2016.

In “Creating Our New Museum,” two dozen objects selected from the hundreds of 18th-century artifacts that will be exhibited in the new galleries are on display near a video preview of future gallery short films about the changing relationship between American colonists and Britain, communication in 18th-century America, two key victories in the Revolutionary War – the 1777 Battle of Saratoga and the 1781 Siege of Yorktown – and the development of the United States Constitution in the 1780s.

The artifact exhibit includes portraits of American Loyalist and noted scientist Benjamin Thompson and British Admiral Richard Howe, a painting of the 1782 naval Battle of the Saintes, British and American swords and firearms, objects bearing slogans and symbols of the Revolutionary era, and American-made furniture and silver objects.

“Creating Our New Museum” also engages visitors in the making of “Liberty Fever,” the introductory film to be shown in the 170-seat museum theater, with interactive experiences including posing behind a screen to create a silhouette to be photographed by family and friends, and taking the stage to act the Liberty Fever storytellerpart of one of the characters in the film.

“Liberty Fever” will be narrated by an early 19th-century storyteller who has traveled the country, gathering stories about the American Revolution. He shares these accounts with his audience using a moving panorama presentation of the time period. Through silhouettes and shadow puppets interwoven with live-action film segments, the viewer will witness “liberty fever” in the stories of people who lived during the Revolution.

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